Kris Meeke has admitted he will need to ‘step up to another level’ to achieve victory in the upcoming Tour de Corse – Rallye France as the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team head to Corsica.
In 2015 Meeke secured fourth place in treacherous conditions which saw stages shortened and cancelled. This year Meeke and his crew will be hoping for better weather conditions.
“When I think about the Tour de Corse, it’s the terrible conditions in 2015 that spring to mind: the heavy downpours, the flooding, the shortened or cancelled stages…” said Meeke. “We were looking to score points for the Manufacturers’ championship and my fourth place helped us to achieve that goal. This year, I hope the conditions are kinder. This rally is absolutely fantastic when the roads are completely dry!”
The 2016 rally sees a change of route with up to 70% of the roads featured across the stages different to the 2015 edition, there is also an increase in distance by 20%.
“I’m expecting it to be a tough weekend to manage. On Friday morning, we start with a 50km stage (SS1), with no splits… So without overdoing it, we’ll have to find the right pace from the word go because otherwise you could lose a lot of time. Fortunately, Sunday’s test session will give us an opportunity to make adjustments before the rally.”
Despite two victories this season, Meeke remains realistic with his expectations as he heads in to his fifth rally of the season.
“As far as my objectives here, it’s difficult to say. Obviously, I won in Portugal and Finland, but I’ve always been quick on those surfaces. In Corsica, I think I would need to step up to another level. The target remains to rack up as many miles as possible to keep improving and be ready for 2017. I would be very happy to finish on the podium, but that’s not the goal in itself.”